Thursday, June 18, 2009

Day's summary

I was surprisingly ineffectual on all fronts today. I reshimmed the side of the window so it wouldn't make that weird noise when it opens, then sealed it with urethane foam and started caulking the outside. (I tried tooling with a plastic spoon dipped in mineral spirits - worked great!) And I selected some O-rings and gaskets from the assortments I bought yesterday, then reassembled the bathtub faucet. I pulled off the rest of the rotten plaster in the bathroom and started prepping that for closing it back up, and pulled off the rest of the old tub surround. I assembled my shiny new shopvac and vacuumed up some crud in the bathroom (the rotten flakes of 70's vanity, said vanity now residing in the dumpster). I swept up the bathroom crud that the shopvac had blown across the kitchen because I assembled it wrong, then assembled it right and vacuumed it up a second time. I turned on the hot water plumbing and verified that it no longer leaks (glue helps, yes). And I called the gas company so I could actually have hot water.

I entered the main house for the first time in a couple of days, took the Visqueen off one of the attic windows (there's no window on it) and emerged onto the roof of the upstairs sunroom, a flat tar roof that sports the only section of gutter on the entire house. (A section which is full of maple seedlings, of course.) From that, I could see the roof of the main house for the first time ever. It's a really nice roof; shouldn't give me problems for years. No gutter, of course.

Then I stepped down onto the roof of the blue room and back stairs, where I know there to be a significant leak. It's a tin roof! Now I really need a cat, for hot weather. The weird thing about that roof is - I can't tell where it's leaking. It looks fine from on top, i.e. there are no obvious holes, it appears properly connected to the brick wall, and so on. From the location of the leak, I had assumed that the problem was at the wall - but from the outside it's not at all apparent whether that's actually the case.

The view from the top of the sunroom is very leafy and green, since you're basically up in the sycamores along the street. I should build a deck there, or a third sunroom perhaps. Maybe I should put the greenhouse there. That would be ... architecturally diverse.

I reexamined the layout of the carriage house downstairs, considering where I want to put the washer and dryer and a workbench. (This last mostly because the twenty different Lowe's and Menard's and Kmart and Meijer bags with different tools and supplies I've strewn haphazardly around the carriage house apartment are losing their appeal.)

And that was it. Not really what I'd call a day's work, just piddling around.


  1. I had a roof leak where the water hit the dining room ceiling about 6 feet from where it entered through a metal soffity thing. It was running down a 2x6 that was framing the roof. If you can get in the attic you'd probably find it.

  2. There's got to be a way! This section of the roof is actually not in the attic per se; it's on one of the additions. So there's dead space in there, access to which is unclear. But this next week I'll see if I can get to it.

  3. I had a leak in the ceiling of the ground floor office, directly below the faucets & drain in the bathtub in the upstairs bathroom. Obvious source, right? Nope. The leak was in the roof above the bathroom, and travelled sideways and down before pooling plaster and eating its way through. The leak was a lack of tar around the exhaust pipe for bathroom ceiling fan.

  4. A small leak in a big house is quite hard to locate. You can't see it until it actually leaks - most of the time, at least. In any case, it's still quite good that you've done a lot there.

  5. For posterity, I should note that the technique for finding a roof leak is to run a hose up onto the roof. Station one person downstairs to see when it starts leaking, and another on the roof to move the hose. Once the leak is leaking, you can probably find your leak.

    It's important to realize the significant possible delay between water entering the roof and exiting the leak.

    At any rate, this leak was fixed in the Fall of 2009 with our extensive roof repair. We still have a little bit of an issue when there's wind from the south (it blows rain against the south upstairs wall above the eyebrow, which leaks somewhere into the ~1920 box gutter in the back mudroom, thence onto the floor there - so until that's located, I can't close that ceiling up).